Chapter Three is on what Dummett calls "The Hand Painted Cards of Ferrara". What is odd is that most of the groiups he lists are now considered as having been painted in Florence. For Dummett, it is a matter of trusting the Estense impresas on the some of the cards and making inferences from there, as well as those art experts whose judgments agree with these inferences. But of course the impresa only indicates who the cards were painted for, or a group of such possible patrons. And if the style is so unmistakably that of Ferrara, as Dummett insists, why is that opinion now no longer believed? Did Dummett in 1993 make methodological errors in coming to his conclusions? I will go through the groups one by one. He continues the numbering from his previous chapter, which ended at 21. So we are now at 22. There are five in all, plus a footnote on one card in "Ferrarese" style but which Dummett says belongs to a Milan deck listed in the previous chapter.
Group 22 (p. 69) is what is now called the d'Este tarot of Yale University, 8 triumphs and 8 court cards. There are Estense heraldics on all the Baton courts and the Queen of Swords; the King and Knight of Swords have Aragon heraldics. Thus they were made to commemorate the wedding of Ercole d'Este and Eleanor of Aragon, daughter of the King of Naples, which happened in 1473. This is thus a clear example of a "marriage deck", in case we needed one. It seems to me that there are small numbers written on these cards after the fact; I assume they reflect the B order, but I can't find the information at the present.
Group 23 (p. 80) is what is still called the Catania group, although some, including me, have called it the Alessandro Sforza deck. In Huck's view, which I endorse, its style has an affinity with that of the painter Lo Scheggia of Florence, who also did cassoni, i.e. wedding chests. Dummett argues strenuously against Algiere's idea that even though probably made in Ferrara it was made for Alessandro Sforza (1409-1473), lord of Pesero and Cortignola from 1445. The issue is whether the impresa in the King of Swords - actually, a double impresa, putting in a carnation on a shield a diamond ring - is that of Alessandro Sforza or one of the Estense, "perhaps Borso", Dummett says. Algeri (I Tarocchi
, n. 2, p. 33), following Avril (Dix siècles d’enluminures italienne
, n. 127, pp. 146-7, 1984), argues for Alessandro. Even though admitting that Alessandro, a personal friend of Ercole's, used such an impresa, Dummett is for the Estense. He says (p. 81f):
È vero che Alessandro Sforza usava quest’impresa; ma Giuliana Algeri sbaglia quando su questa base collega le carte con lui. La dottessa Algeri conviene che le carte di Catania sono state dipinte da un artista ferrarese; quanto all’impresa, era in origine un emblema della famiglia estense. Consiste infatti di due imprese congiunte — quella dell’anello con il diamante, e quella del garofano. Niccolò III d’Este aveva concesso
l’uso dell’impresa dell’anello con il diamante a Muzio Atten- dolo, il padre di Francesco e Alessandro Sforza. Sembra che Alessandro, come amico d’Èrcole d’Este, fosse l’unico membro della famiglia Sforza a congiungere l’anello con il diamante al garofano; ma lo stesso Ercole d’Este usava spesso questa doppia impresa, che compare diciotto volte nella celebre Bibbia miniata di Borso d’Este 5. Data l’origine ferrarese riconosciuta [start of p. 82] delle carte, non c’è motivo di dubitare che l’emblema sulloscudo del Re di Spade sia da collegare a uno dei principi ’estensi, forse a Borso.
5. Ho ricevuto grande aiuto da Ronald Decker nell’investigare questo problema, così come dal professor Charles Rosenberg e dalle dott-sse Sabine Eiche, Jane Bestor e Giuliana Algeri. La Bibbia si trova nella Biblioteca Estense di Modena. Altri esempi dell’uso della doppia impresa da parte degli Estensi sono: un manoscritto di Andreas Pannonius, 'Ad D. Herculem Ducera Civitatis Ferrariensis, anch’esso nella Biblioteca Estense; la moneta d’Èrcole, il ‘diamante’, coniata per la prima volta nel 1475; la filigrana della carta della
cancelleria d’Èrcole; un manoscritto ‘De triumphis relìgionis’ di Giovanni Sabadino degli Arienti, del 1497 circa, riprodotto in Werner L. Gundersheimer. Art and Life at the Court of Ercole d’Este, Geneva, 1972 (si veda il frontespizio e ff. 80 verso-81 verso del manoscritto); la testa in marmo di Beatrice d’Este di Gian Cristoforo Romano al Louvre. La dottessa Enrica Domenicali di Ferrara ha dedicato a questo argomento una conferenza tenuta al Convegno dell’International Playing-Card Society a Trieste nel 1989. Ella ha fatto
riferimento a esempi dell’impresa scolpiti su quattro edifici di Ferrara — il Castello Estense, il Palazzo Ducale, la Chiesa di San Cristoforo e la Palazzina di Marfisa d’Este; ha menzionato inoltre un affresco nel Palazzo Schifanoia e numerosi manoscritti miniati. La dottessa Domenicali ricorda anche l’uso dell’impresa come filigrana per la carta di cancelleria di Sigismondo d’Este, un fratello d’Èrcole che divenne signore di Reggio Emilia nel 1462.
(It is true that Alessandro Sforza used this impresa; but Giuliana Algeri is mistaken on this basis when connecting cardswith him. Dr. Algeri agrees that the Catania cards were painted by an artist from Ferrara; As to the impresa, it was originally a symbol of the Este family. It consists in fact of two impresas - a diamond ring, and that of the carnation. Niccolò III d'Este had granted the use of the diamond ring impresa to Muzio Attendola, the father of Francesco and Alessandro Sforza. It seems that Alessandro, as a friend of Ercole d'Este, was the only member of the Sforza family to join the diamond ring to a carnation; but Ercole d' Este himself often used this double impresa, which appears eighteen times in the famous illuminated Bible of Borso d' Este (5). Given the recognized Ferrarese origin of the cards, there is no reason to doubt that the emblem on the shield of the King of Swords is to be connected to one of the Este princes, perhaps to Borso.
5. I received great help in investigating this problem from Ronald Decker, as well as by Professor Charles Rosenberg and Dr. Sabine Eiche, Jane Bestor and Giuliana Algieri. The Bible is in the Estense Library in Modena. Other examples of the use of the double impressa on the part of Este are: a manuscript of Andreas Pannonius 'Ad D. Herculem Ducera Civitatis Ferrariensis', also in the Biblioteca Estense; the currency of Ercole, the 'diamond', coined for the first time in 1475; the watermark of the paper Registry of Ercole; a manuscript 'De triumphis Religioni ' by Giovanni Sabadino Degli Arienti, about 1497, reproduced in L. Werner Gundersheimer, Art and Life at the Court of Ercole d' Este, Geneva, 1972 (see frontispiece and ff. 80 verso-81 verso in the manuscript); the marble head of Beatrice d'Este by Gian Cristoforo Romano at the Louvre. Dr. Enrica Domenicali of Ferrara devoted to this topic a lecture given at the Conference of the International Playing-Card Society in Trieste in 1989. She made reference to examples of the impresa carved on four buildings of Ferrara – the Castello Estense, the Palazzo Ducale, the Church of St. Christopher and the Palazzina of the Marfisa [sic] d'Este; she also mentioned a fresco in the Palazzo Schifanoia and many illuminated manuscripts. Dr. Domenicali also recalls the use of the impresa as a watermark for the stationery paper of Sigismondo d'Este, a brother of Ercole, who became lord of Reggio Emilia in 1462.
This is an example of Dummett's method of accumulating numbers of times something is now observed to have happened in two places, as though it affects the probability of being in one place rather than another. Perhaps it does, but not by much; there are too many other variables. We do not know how many times Alessandro Sforza used it; the library at Pesaro burned down in the 16th century. The two seem equally probable to me, given the data so far. I would greatly appreciate knowing other information on this issue. Of course it is still necessary to look at other groups of cards that are similar, as well as other works of art. That leads up to the next group.
Group 24 is the "Charles VI". Why is it attributed to Ferrara? Dummett sees strong similarities with the Catania Hermit and World cards (p. 84):
Due dei trionfi, tuttavia, l’Eremita e il Mondo, sono quasi identici nel disegno alle corrispondenti carte catanesi. Nella carta catanese si potrebbe interpretare lo scettro
nella figura del Mondo come un turibolo che viene fatto oscillare, mentre, nella carta ‘Carlo VX’, è senza dubbio uno scettro; ciò costituisce la sola differenza fra le due versioni del Mondo; fra quelle dell’Eremita, la differenza è esigua.
(Two of the triumphs, however, the Hermit and the World, are almost identical in design to the corresponding card of Catania. In the Catania World card, the figure of the scepter could be interpreted as a censer that is made to oscillate, while, in the‘Charles VI' card, it is undoubtedly a scepter; this is the only difference between the two versions of the World; between those of the Hermit, the difference is small.
He concludes (p. 84):
La somiglianza fra queste due coppie di carte nei due gruppi, insieme al parere dei critici d’arte che lo stile artistico delle carte ‘Carlo VT sia quello della scuola ferrarese, ci dà valide ragioni per ritenere che queste carte siano state dipinte a Ferrara: in particolare, la più celebre delle carte, l’Amore, che mostra un giovane che bacia una ragazza in mezzo alla folla, richiama alla mente raffresco per il mese di aprile nel palazzo Schifanoia di Ferrara del 1470 circa.
(The similarity between these two pairs of cards in the two groups, together
with the opinion of art critics that the artistic style of the 'Charles VI’ cards is of the school of Ferrara, gives us good reason to believe that these cards were painted in Ferrara: in particular, the most famous of the cards, Love, which shows a young king kissing a girl in the crowd, brings to mind a fresco for the month of April, in the Schifanoia palace of Ferrara of about 1470.
He does not mention who these "art critics" are. The only one before 1994 of which I am aware is Algeri, with whom Dummett disagrees at least half the time. (However it is true that Lauro Paula Gnaccolini, curator of the Brera's "Il secreto del segreti" exhibition at the Brera last year endorses in passing, p. 38 of the catalog, Algeri's attribution of the deck to Ferrara in the 1987 catalog to their "Charles VI" exhibition.) On p. 83 he says of the "Charles VI"
Lo stile vivace ed elaborato differisce completamente da quello dell’autore sia dei tarocchi principali [end of p. 83] Visconti-Sforza che delle sei carte secondarie di quel mazzo.
(The lively and elaborate style differs completely from that of the principal author of the Visconti-Sforza pack or the six secondary Visconti-Sforza cards of that pack.)
Apparently the lively style is like that of the Schifanoia. I have read several studies of the Schiafanoia and haven't seen any comparison to the Charles VI cards. The kissing couples are not stylistically very similar, if you keep in mind Florentine art of the same time (compare http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-m2NR_DG1ees/U ... ril_01.jpg
and http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-f545LdgqVhs/U ... les_06.jpg
The relationship of the "Charles VI" to the Catania, however, seems well founded, in that they both seem to have ended up in the same place. Unusually, three of the Catania triumphs (World, Hermit, Chariot) have little handwritten numbers on them; so do the "Charles VI" cards; the numbers correspond.
Apart from any developments in the art world since 1993, we have to ask, why couldn't the decks he has so far attributed to Ferrara just as well have been done in Florence or Bologna? As far as style, I see no more similarity of the "Charles VI" to the Schifanoia than I do to the cassoni paintings of Giovanni or the "seven virtues" of Pollaiuolo in Florence (e.g. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_5e7P4Y3Wo3w/S ... thchar.jpg
) or especially, one by Lo Scheggia (http://www.polomuseale.firenze.it/inv18 ... %20Vecchio
). There are also little hints of Florence sprinkled among the cards: suggestions of the Florentine fleur de lys in the Pope and Emperor, seven Medici "palle" on the Chariot. Moreover, in Chapter Six Dummett says that Franco Pratesi found a Florentine prohibition of 1450 against triumph cards, from which Dummett deduces that the cards had been in Florence long enough to have cheap popular versions. Otherwise there would have been no need for the prohibition. In Ferrara there is no evidence of tarot outside the court.
A little later Dummett says that there are similarities between the "Charles VI' and the printed cards of Bologna, which he will discuss later in his book (p. 84):
Vedremo più avanti che i disegni di alcuni dei trionfi, in particolare il Mondo e la Torre, presentano alcune affinità con quelli usati sulle carte bolognesi e che, inoltre, l’ordine delle carte, quale risulta dalla numerazione, si avvicina più a quello bolognese che a quello che sappiamo essere stato prevalente a Ferrara. E pertanto possibile che il mazzo ‘Carlo VI’ sia stato dipinto a Ferrara per una delle famiglie nobili di Bologna, i
Bentivoglio, per esempio. Il mazzo è runico, fra quelli dipinti a mano, a presentare numeri sui trionfi 11.
11. Ci sono numeri arabi su tre trionfi di Catania [gruppo (23)] (ma non sulla carta, forse la Temperanza, con la figura nuda sul cervo); sembrano però di mano molto posteriore.
(We will see later that the designs of some of the triumphs, in particular the World and the Tower, have some affinity with those used on Bolognese cards and that, moreover, the order of the cards, as shown in the numbering, is closer to that of the Bolognese, whom we know to have been prevalent in Ferrara. It is thus possible that the 'Charles VI' pack was painted in Ferrara for one of the noble families of Bologna, the Bentivoglio, for example. The cards are unique, among those painted by hand, in showing numerals on the triumphs 11.
11. There are Arabic numerals on the three Catania triumphs [group (23)] (but not on the card, perhaps Temperance, with the nude figure on the deer); but they seem by a much later hand.)
Having read Dummett's later chapter and the one after, I would add that he also points out the similarity of the Bolognese cards (including the designs that exist from the 17th century as well as the Beaux Arts/Rothschild sheets) to printed cards attributed to Florence (Rosenwald). The comparison with the Bolognese cards is in chapter 9, which comes after the chapter in which he discusses the there orders of A (Southern: Bologna, Florence), B (Eastern: Ferrara, and C (Lombardy) (p. 228) .(That distinction is something we discussed a lot in the "Dummett and Methodology" thread. See in particular my post at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=975&p=14697&hilit=Southern#p14697
, where I give links to Dummett's charts of the thee orders.) He says of the sequence of numbers on the Charles VI: (pp 227f) :
È evidente che si tratta di un ordine di tipo A. Sulla Giustizia si può ancora leggere chiaramente il numero viij, quindi non è un ordine di tipo B, e sulla Temperanza il numero vj, quindi non è un ordine di tipo C: anzi, il numero vij è ugualmente chiaro sulla Fortezza, quindi le tre virtù sono consecutive — una indicazione decisiva di un ordine di tipo A. Il numero xviiij è ancora chiaramente leggibile sul Mondo, quindi l’Angelo doveva essere la carta più alta. Pertanto la numerazione può solo essere arrivata a xx; il Bagatto, che non ci è pervenuto, doveva essere privo di numero.
(It is clearly an order of Type A. The number viij can still be clearly read on Justice; so it is not is an order of type C; also, the number vij is equally clear on Fortitude, so the three virtues are consecutive - a decisive indiction of an order of type A. The number xviiij is still clearly legible on the World, so the Angel must have been the highest card. Therefore, the numbering can only be continued to xx; the Bagatto [Magician], which has not survived, had to be unnumbered.)
The feature of having an unnumbered Bagatto is a feature of found in type A only, and never in types B and C, he has said earlier (p. 226):
Questa particolarità si ritrova in altri ordini di tipo A, sebbene non in tutti; mentre non si verifica mai in ordini di tipo B o C. Il suo scopo potrebbe essere stato quello di garantire che la Morte ricevesse il numero 1$, come sempre avviene negli ordini dei tipi B e C, poiché, in questi due casi, una delle virtù la supera per rango.
(This feature is found in other orders of type A, but not all; while it never occurs in orders of type B or C. Its purpose may have been to ensure that Death received number 13, as always happens in the orders of types B and C, as in these two cases, one virtue is above it in rank.)
Since I am going to discuss the A order a lot, here is the chart, from Game of Tarot
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-YlU6F53x-_E/U ... .35+PM.png
A possibility he does not raise is that the Popess by the time the "Charles VI' gots its numbers had been removed from the deck altogether, as in Minchiate. But perhaps it had a Popess originally. The evidence is the Rosenwald sheet, which he considers reflective of the Florentine standard model. I will get to it in a moment (it is in chapter 10, on printed cards in Florence, and I am now in chapter 9, on Bologna). In Chapter 9 he discusses the relationship of the "Charles VI" to the cards of Bologna.
Dummett continues (returning to p. 228):
L’ordine differisce da quello bolognese in quanto le virtù sono di rango più basso del Carro e la Giustizia è superiore alla Fortezza. Nondimeno, questi numeri non possono essere stati collocati sulle carte da un giocatore ferrarese, ma solo da uno che viveva in un’area in cui l’ordine osservato per i trionfi non era altro che una variante di quello bolognese. È improbabile che fosse nativo di Bologna, non solo a causa della differenza secondaria nell’ordine dei trionfi, ma perché la numerazione dei trionfi non era consuetudine bolognese; come vedremo, è più probabile che vivesse a Firenze. Comunque, anche se i tarocchi ‘Carlo VI’ furono sicuramente dipinti da un artista ferrarese, devono essere stati dipinti per — o essere ben presto entrati in possesso di — un membro dell’aristocrazia di una regione che seguiva la tradizione bolognese dei tarocchi piuttosto che quella ferrarese.
(The order differs from that of Bologna since the virtues are of lower rank than the Chariot, and Justice is superior to Fortitude. Nevertheless, these numbers on the cards cannot have been placed by a player of Ferrara, but only by one who lived in an area where the order observed for the triumphs was nothing more than a variant of the Bolognese. It is unlikely that he was a native of Bologna, not only because of the minor difference in the order of the trumps, but because numbering of the trumps was not customary in Bologna; as we shall see, it is more likely that he lived in Florence. However, even if the 'Charles VI' tarot was definitely painted by an artist from Ferrara, it must have been painted for - or will soon be in possession of - a member of the aristocracy of a region that followed the Bolognese tarot tradition rather than that of Ferrara.
He then points out the cards of the "Charles VI" that are similar to those of Bologna: Fortitude, the Moon (with two figures under the Moon; the d'Este has just one), the Sun (quite different from the d'Este), the World (different from the d'Este, similar to the Catania), the Tower (but missing the two figures of the Beaux Arts), the Hanged Man. On the other hand, the Hermit, Death, and the Angel are markedly different in the two decks.
However Dummett makes a questionable assumption here: that the "Charles V" was painted for a region that followed the Bolognese tradition of tarot. He can only say, "followed the type A tradition". He cannot assume that it is first Bolognese and then Florentine, unless he has established elsewhere that the A order was in Bologna before it was in Florence. I cannot see that he has.
The presence of numbers on the Charles VI suggest that at some point it was used in some place other than Bologna. Therefore we need to consider the possibility that it was made for Florence, butbefore Florence used the order indicated by the numbers, So at this point I will add the Rosenwald (http://trionfi.com/rosenwald-tarocchi-sheet
), from Chapter 10, which he says exhibits the Florentine standard order. He argues that the Rosenwald cards are laid out in order, going from right to left, except that one part can't be quite right. This is the part, going from right to left, that starts with the Chariot and ends with the Wheel.
Of this row he says (p. 244f):
Unica fra le carte del foglio, la Ruota è trappolata in malo modo ed è quindi impossibile decidere se recasse un numero 6. E evidente che o il numero XII sull’Eremita è un errore, oppure le carte non sono in stretta sequenza. In base alla prima ipotesi, l’Eremita dovrebbe recare il numero XI, la Ruota essere priva di numero e tutte le carte essere disposte nel loro giusto ordine. In base alla seconda ipotesi, la Ruota dovrebbe recare il numero XI e l’ordine esatto delle tre carte di destra della seconda fila sarebbe:
XI la Ruota; XII l’Eremita; l’Impiccato (senza numero).
Dì queste due ipotesi, la seconda è senza dubbio la più probabile, poiché l’ordine dì questo segmento dei trionfi quale appare dal foglio, anche se non impossibile, è tuttavia stranissimo. Come abbiamo osservato in precedenza, la regola generale è che, se lasciamo da parte le virtù, il segmento intermedio compare in quest’ordine: [end of 244]
l’Amore, il Carro, la Ruota, l’Eremita, l’Impiccato
dal quale può differire limitatamente allo scambio fra una coppia di carte adiacenti. Se si accetta la seconda ipotesi, queste cinque carte compaiono esattamente nell’ordine indicato sopra; in base alla prima ipotesi, il mazzo Rosenwald rappresenterebbe l’unica eccezione alla regola.
6. Per colmo di sfortuna, anche sul foglio di Leinfelden questa carta è troppo seriamente danneggiata perché lo si possa dedurre da lì.
(Unique among the cards of the sheet, the wheel is badly torn, and it is therefore impossible to decide whether it has a number 6. It is evident that either the number XII on the Hermit is a mistake, or the cards are not in strict sequence. According to the first hypothesis, the Hermit should bear the number XI, the Wheel be without number and all of the cards are placed in their proper order. According to the second hypothesis, the Wheel should bear the number XI and the exact order of the three cards to the right of the second row would be:
XI the Wheel; XII the Hermit; the Hanged Man (no number).
Of these two hypotheses, the second is without a doubt the most likely, because the order of triumphs in this segment is as it appears on the sheet, although not impossible, it is still strange. As we noted above, the general rule is that, if we leave aside the virtues, the intermediate segment will appear in this order:
Love, the Chariot, the Wheel, the Hermit, the Hanged Man
from which possible differences are limited to the exchange between a pair of adjacent cards. If you accept the latter, these five cards appear exactly in the order shown above; according to the first hypothesis, the Rosenwald deck represents the only exception to the rule.
6 To cap misfortune, also on the Leinfelden sheet of cards this is too badly damaged to infer it from there.
With the phrase "As we noted above" he is referring to a passage in an earlier chapter, p. 174 (50 pages earlier!) in which he talked about the A order in detail, after first dividing all of A, B, and C into three segments, of which we here are concerned with the middle one, that starts with Love:
Nel tipo A, l’Angelo è il trionfo più alto, seguito immediatamente dal Mondo. Le tre virtù. Temperanza, Fortezza, Giustizia compaiono insieme, di solito inserite subito al di sopra della carta più bassa del segmento intermedio, che, in un ordine di questo tipo, almeno quando siamo in grado di stabilirlo, è invariabilmente l’Amore. Esistono, tuttavia, numerose variazioni all’interno del tipo A. In un caso le tre virtù sono sotto l’Amore; in un altro, precedono non solo l’Amore ma anche il Carro. Fra le virtù, la Temperanza è sempre la più bassa delle tre negli ordini di tipo A, ma le posizioni relative delle altre due variano. Le cinque carte del segmento intermedio compaiono talvolta nel loro ordine tipico indicato sopra; ma in alcuni casi la Ruota e il Carro sono scambiati e in un caso lo scambio è avvenuto fra l’Eremita e l’Impiccato.
(In type A, the Angel is the highest triumph, preceded immediately by the World. The three virtues. Temperance, Fortitude, Justice, appear together, usually placed immediately above the lowest card of the intermediate segment, which, in an order of this type, at least when we are able to determine this, is invariably Love. There are, however, numerous variations in the type A. In one case the three virtues are under Love; in another, not only before Love but also the Chariot. Among the virtues, Temperance is always the lowest of the three in orders of type A, but the relative positions of the other two vary. The five cards of the intermediate segment sometimes appear in their typical order shown above; but in some cases the Wheel and Chariot are exchanged and in one case the exchange took place between the Hermit and the Hanged Man.)
But invariably the Hermit comes after the Wheel. So the order in the Rosenwald would be:
X Chariot - XI Wheel - XII Hermit - Hanged Man
And by stopping the numbers, Death, the 14th card, avoids being numbered other than 13.
(Note added 6/14: Here I would note in passing that Pratesi, 2011, takes the other alternative, and decides that the Hermit card is misnumbered and the Wheel unnumbered. See http://trionfi.com/rosenwald-tarocchi-sheet
. He does not mention Dummett or his arguments on this point. However Depaulis in his article "Early Italian Lists of Tarot Trumps" The Playing Card, vol. 36, n° 1, July-September 2007, pp. 39-50 follows Dummett.)
The Rosenwald then gives the standard Florentine order. It is very close to that of the Bolognese. The only differences are (a) in the Florentine, the Chariot comes after the virtues, and in the Bolognese before the virtues; and (b) the Bolognese have the four "papi". (Here again is the chart: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-YlU6F53x-_E/U ... .35+PM.png
.) The Bolognese cards look quite siimilar to the Rosenwald, too. The Ace of Coins is decorated with the dog and the hare, like early Bolognese cards.
As far as the order of the virtues, in the numbering on the cards, they are:
the Rosenwald is 9 Fortitude, 8 Justice, 7 Temperance
the Bolognese is 9 Forza, 8 Justice, 7 Temperance,
the "Charles VI' is 8 Justice, 7 Fortitude, 6 Temperance.
To these I add the Minchiate, which is a presumably Florentine development out of the Rosenwald. Here is its order of virtues, the same as the numbers and order of the "Charles VI":
the Minchiate is 8 Justice, 7 Fortitude, 6 Temperance.
In addition, Chariot comes after the virtues in all of these except the Bolognese. If the Florentine order is first, then it would appear that the Bolognese comes between it and the Minchiate, and the Minchiate derives from the Florentine at the time of the 'Charles VI' numbers, but after the Bolognese order, which has the "four papi". That is because the Minchiate uses the principle of the unranked "papi."has "three papi".
Let us assume that the Charles VI, going to Florence and perhaps made there, c. 1470 plus or minus 10 years, had the same order as the Rosenwald, but later changed to that of the Minchiate by the time the numbers were put on. So we have, in temporal order (I put those together where we still don't have a clear temporal priority as far as the order):
Charles VI deck, no numbers but presumed order from the Rosenwald
Rosenwald deck with some numbers but laid out on a sheet
Bolognese deck (no numbers but presumed order from later practice)
Charles VI with some numbers
Minchiate with numbers
(Note added June 14, 2014: I didn't add the information from Depaulis's analysis of the Strambotto, which I had posted at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=975&p=14909&hilit= ... tto#p14909
. In that case, Depaulis makes the Charles VI Chariot actually x and not viiij, and so the transitional deck would be that of the Strambotto, c. 1500, where I have put the Charles VI above; and the Charles VI with numbers would overlap with the Minchiate. Dummett went with Steele's reading of the Chariot as viiij. I don't know how Steele could have misread an x as viiij or anything like it, but I include Depaulis's reading for the sake of completeness. All it affects is whether the numbered Charles VI is transitional, or the Strambotto, or both (in different places). The interesting thing about the Strambotto is that it seems to have been written and printed in Rome. That suggests to me that at some point, perhaps in the beginning, the tarot decks that Florence exported to Rome, probably without numbers, might have omitted the Popess, and Minchiate might have been invented in Rome and exported to Florence when the Medici were restored there in 1530 by the Medici pope, Clement VII. This is of course a conjecture. I will return to this issue after considering more factors, coming out of Dummett's chapters 10 and 11.) (Note added Sept. 29, 2015. My conjecture about minchiate being invented in Rome and then brought to Florence ignores Huck's important finding of a mention of minchiate in Florence in 1517, at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=780
. which I hadn't noticed. And since then there has been Pratesi's discovery of a mention of minchiate in Florence of 1506 (see viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1074
). The problem remains, was it the same game and deck as that known later? But the increased frequency of "sightings", or near "sightings", as in Pratesi's observations about the Rosenwald, ,makes it more probable than otherwise that it probably is the same "bird" in all these cases.)
If you compare the Charles VI images (http://www.lepalaisdutarot.com/charles- ... t-deck.htm
) with the Rosenwald (http://a-tarot.eu/p/jan-11/fra/rosenwald-sheet-3.jpg
), you will see much similarity. For the Moon, and Sun, the similarity is in the top of the Charles VI card, which was the important part as far as the players were concerned. The similarity in the vitues' haloes is of course striking, to which should be compared Lo Scheggia's (link above) and those of Minchiate. In the suit cards, if you compare the Rosenwald (http://a-tarot.eu/p/jan-11/fra/rosenwald-sheet-11.jpg
) with the Minchiate (http://a-tarot.eu/p/2013/rosen.jpg
), there is also much similarity, down to the centaurs. In the Rosenwald, there is also the hare and rabbit on the Ace of Coins, similar to the Bolognese. The Minchiate also continues many of the Rosenwald's characteristic designs, most notably that of the Love card, with the lover kneeling before his beloved.
A major difference between the Rosenwald/Charles VI and that of the Bolognese cards is that instead of the Popess, Empress, Emperor, and Pope, the Bolognese have the "four papi", all of the same rank when it came to taking a trick, and not distinguished by particular titles. At this point I need to justify the assumption that the Rosenwld game came before the Bolognese. I think an argument can be constructed that applies to the Bolognese game what Dummet says about the development of Minchiate. which he considers descended from the Florentine standard order (p. 249):
Un confronto fra i trionfi dal II al V del mazzo Rosenwald e gli enigmatici trionfi II, III e UH del mazzo delle Minchiate fa vedere chiaramente come questi ultimi abbiano acquisito la loro forma. Sul foglio Rosenwald, il II è la Papessa, il IH l’Imperatrice, il nn l’Imperatore e il V il Papa. Se mettiamo il HI e il mi Rosenwald a confronto, rispettivamente, con il II e il III delle Minchiate, vediamo che i disegni sono praticamente identici. Inoltre, c’è una stretta somiglianza fra la figura del Papa sul trionfo V del foglio Rosenwald e la figura di un Imperatore ritratta sul IHI delle Minchiate. E accaduto semplicemente che il Papa è stato secolarizzato nel modo più economico: la tiara è ora racchiusa in una semplice coroncina ed egli regge in mano un globo e uno scettro. Così, nel formare il mazzo delle Minchiate, la Papessa fu soppressa e il Papa trasformato in un sovrano secolare. L’identità esatta dei tarocchi II, HI e UH non ha più una grande importanza per i giocatori delle Minchiate, dal momento che queste carte dovevano essere identificate dal numero — come Papa due, Papa tre e Papa quattro — piuttosto che dal soggetto. E possibilissimo che la secolarizzazione del Papa non sia avvenuta al momento della formazione del mazzo delle Minchiate; se in origine il HH avesse raffigurato inequivocabilmente un Papa, sarebbe meno sorprendente il nome di ‘Papi’ per la sequenza di carte a cui appartiene.
C’è qui una prova diretta che i disegni del modello standard del mazzo delle Minchiate sono quelli di un modello già esistente per il mazzo dei tarocchi ordinario — naturalmente con l’eccezione di quelli dei venti trionfi supplementari. Quel modello non è esemplificato nei fogli Rosenwald; deve essere successivo ai disegni di questi fogli, e sopravvive solo nel mazzo delle Minchiate.
(A comparison between triumphs II to V of the Rosenwald deck and the enigmatic triumphs II, III, and IIII of the Minchiate deck shows clearly how they have acquired their shape. On the Rosenwald sheet, the II is the Popess, III the Empress, IIII the Emperor and V the Pope. If we put the Rosenwald III and IIII in comparison, respectively, with the II and III of the Minchiate, we see that the designs are virtually identical. In addition, there is a close similarity between triumph V. the figure of the Pope on the Rosenwald sheet. and the figure of an emperor portrayed on the Minchiate IIII. It just happened that the Pope was secularized in the most economical way: the tiara is now enclosed in a simple crown, and he holds in his hand a globe and scepter. Thus, in forming the deck of the Minchiate, the Popess and the Pope were suppressed, transformed into one secular ruler. The exact identity of tarots II, III and IIII no longer has a great importance for players of the Minchiate, since these cards had to be identified by number - as Pope two, Pope three, and Pope four - rather than by subject. It is possible that the secularization of the Pope did not take place at the time of the formation of the Minchiate; if the IIII had originally shown unequivocally a Pope, the name of 'Papi' would be less surprising. for the sequence of cards to which it belongs.)
Here is a direct proof that the designs of the standard model of the Minchiate are those of an existing model for the ordinary deck of tarot - of course with the exception of those of twenty additional triumphs. That model is not exemplified in the Rosenwald sheets; it must be a successor to the designs of these sheets, and survives only in the Minchiate:
Below is first the Minchiate and 2nd the Rosenwald. The bottom one is the Bolognese, as posted by Ross Caldwell on the "Bolognese Sequence" thread.
The reason that Dummett says there is an intermediate deck between the Rosenwald and the Minchiate is that the order of the cards is different. The Minchiate and the Charles VI numbers are almost the same: the only difference is the switching of the Wheel and Chariot. So the intermediate deck's order is either that represented by the Charles VI numbers or that of the Charles VI numbers except for switching Wheel and Chariot.
If you compare the Rosenwald and Minchiate with the Bologna, I think the Bologna is more of the same, but at an earlier stage: two of the Bolognese figures have symbols reminiscent of the pope and popess (keys and staff), as opposed to the three globes of the Minchiate. Of the Bolognese Dummett observes (back to p. 229):
Ci sono pervenuti parecchi gruppi di carte da tarocchi bolognesi standard del XVII secolo; uno, che forma un mazzo di sessantadue carte quasi completo, è alla Bibliothèque Nationale di Parigi 14. I quattro Papi, seppure non distinti nel gioco, sono chiaramente distinti nel disegno come Papale o Imperiale, maschio o femmina.
(Several sets of Bolognese standard tarot cards have come down to us from the seventeenth century; one, forming an almost complete deck of sixty cards, is at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris (14). The four Popes, although not distinct in the game, are clearly distinguished in the depiction as Papal or Imperial, male or female.
As Dummett notices, in the Minchiate the Pope and the Popess have been reduced to one figure and secularized.
In addition we must consider the order of priority as far as the rules of the game. Tarot was a trick-taking game whose model was trick-taking games played with the normal deck. In these games, there are none we know of (correct me if I am wrong!) that have three or four of the same rank in the same suit, such that the trick goes to the one that was played last. So it is likely that tarot at first had the same principle, that all the cards have a different rank and that the high card won the trick. The "four papi" rule would then be a variation on the simpler principle.
There remains the question of the "extreme conservatism of the Bolognese players", Dummett asserts that only from the beginning of the sixteenth century. Here is what he says (p. 225):
La più antica prova diretta dell’ordine dei trionfi rispettato a Bologna risale al 1664 circa; dopo quella data è rimasto invariato. Non c’è ragione di ritenere che non dovesse essere stato quello fin dall’introduzione del gioco, tranne per un aspetto. Una caratteristica dell’ordine dei trionfi è quasi esclusivamente bolognese. Le quattro carte di rango immediatamente superiore al Bagatto o Bagattino — e cioè il Papa, la Papessa, l’Imperatore, l’Imperatrice — erano collettivamente note a Bologna come ‘Papi’ 18. Fu consuetudine fra giocatori bolognesi attribuire a queste quattro carte lo stesso valore: ciascuna poteva battere il Bagattino ed era battuta da qualsiasi altro trionfo, e, se due o più Papi erano giocati nella stessa presa, quello giocato per ultimo batteva gli altri. È certo che si tratta di una consuetudine molto antica; sarà stata introdotta verso l’inizio del XVI secolo, prima della riduzione del mazzo a sessantadue carte. E tuttavia improbabile che si tratti della pratica originaria. Se il gioco dei Tarocchi fu introdotto a Bologna da un’altra città, allora in un primo tempo sarà stato giocato come altrove, con una ben precisa gerarchizzazione fra i Papi. Se invece fu inventato a Bologna, allora l’uguaglianza di rango fra i Papi deve essere stata adottata come regola solo dopo il diffondersi del gioco in altre parti d’Italia.
18. Si veda Playing cards of Various Ages and Countries selected from the Collection of Lady Charlotte Schreiber, Voi. III, Londra, 1895, p. 14, che cita un manoscritto bolognese del 1820 che si riferisce all’affare del canonico Montieri (v. infra, p, 232). Si vedano anche Scritti originali del Conte Carlo Cesare Malvasia spettanti atta sua Felsina Pittrice, a cura di Lea Marzocchi, Bologna, 1983, p. 148, e il manoscritto ‘I trionfi de Tarocchini Appropriati ciascheduno ad una Dama Bolognese’ (v. infra, p. 234), che assegna i «quattro Papi» collettivamente a quattro dame.
(The oldest direct evidence of the order of the triumphs respected in Bologna dates back to 1664; after that date it remained unchanged. There is no reason to believe that it should not have been that since the introduction of the game, except for one thing. One feature of the order of the trumps is almost exclusively Bolognese. The four cards of the rank immediately above the Magician or Bagattino - namely, the Pope, the Popess, the Emperor, the Empress - were collectively known in Bologna as 'Papi' (18). It was customary among Bolognese players to attribute to these four cards of the same value: each could beat the Bagattino and was beaten by any other triumph, and, if two or more papi were played in the same trick, the one played last beat the others. It is certain that it is a very ancient custom, introduced at the beginning of the sixteenth century, before the reduction to a sixty-card deck. It is unlikely, however, that this is the original practice. If the game of Tarot was introduced in Bologna from another city, then in the first instance it will have been played as elsewhere, with a well-defined hierarchy among the Papi. If it was invented in Bologna, then the equality of rank among the Popes must have been adopted as a rule only after the spread of the game into other parts of Italy.
18. See Playing cards of Various Ages and Countries selected from the Collection of Lady Charlotte Schreiber, Vol III, London, 1895, p. 14, citing a Bolognese manuscript of 1820 which refers to the deal of the canon Montieri (see below, p, 232). See also Scritti originali del Conte Carlo Cesare Malvasia spettanti atta sua Felsina Pittrice , edited by Lea Marzocchi, Bologna, 1983, p. 148, and the manuscript 'I trionfi de Tarocchini Appropriati ciascheduno ad una Dama Bolognese’ (see below, p. 234), which assigns the four 'Papi' collectively to four ladies.)
The time of the change is what I would expect: after the Charles VI deck was made (with the Rosenwald's order) but before the Minchiate. The Minchiate is only a further extension of the same principle, which I think was to suppress the identity of objectionable cards, namely the Pope and the Popess.
At the beginning of the 16th century, of course, there was an important political event that shaped the course of Bolognese history for the next 350 years, namely the defeat of the Bentivoglio by the Papacy in 1507 and the re-establishment of direct rule by the Church at that time. Nominally it was still a republic, but no local nobility was allowed to take initiative away from the Church.
Also, it is not necessarily the players, but the manufacturers (p. 222), who were so conservative.
Sia i produttori di carte che i giocatori bolognesi sono stati eccezionalmente conservatori. Esempi di mazzi di tarocchi e di mazzi normali dal XVII secolo in poi indicano Bologna come classico esempio di un fenomeno di cui abbiamo già parlato: l’uso di uno stesso modello standard per il mazzo normale e per le carte dei semi del mazzo di tarocchi.
(Either the manufacturers of cards or the Bolognese players were exceptionally conservative. Examples of Tarot decks and regular decks from the seventeenth century onwards indicate Bologna as a classic example of a phenomenon which we have already discussed: the use of a single standard for the normal deck and the cards of the tarot deck.)
I think the reason for adding "manufacturers" is that what remains constant is not the game, but the details on the cards, from at least the time of the Beaux Arts-Rothschild sheets. What is striking is that it is the parts below the main subject, the so-called "decorative" parts, that didn't change--the parts of least interest to the players. It is as though the manufacturers were bound by some convention to keep the details the same, so as to prevent any change in meaning, e.g. satirical intent.
There were in fact several small changes that occurred after 1507. Most notably, Bologna got a shorter deck sometime in the 16th century, as a result in the change in the normal deck to the 40 card Primiera deck, which came from Spain, first recorded in Bologna in 1588, but in Florence in 1526 (p. 224), The design of the courts to include a Maid in two suits and Jacks in the other two probably come in then, too, as well as the reversed order of ranking in Coins and Cups vs. Swords and Batons (also p. 224: I will put this long quote in an appendix to this post, so as not to detract from the main theme).
Also, in the case of one triumph, the design itself changed radically. Dummett observes (p. 229):
La fortissima somiglianza fra i dodici trionfi dei fogli Rothschild/Beaux Arts e queste carte seicentesche, con l’eccezione del Diavolo, è già stata rilevata; si può, molto approssimativamente, collocare il cambiamento di disegno di quest’ultima carta intorno al 1600. Poiché i disegni bolognesi erano estremamente conservatori, deve esserci stata una ragione ben precisa per il cambiamento; è difficile stabilire quale.
(The strong similarity between the twelve triumphs of the Rothschild /Beaux Arts sheets, and these seventeenth century cards, with the exception of the Devil, have already been noted; you can, very roughly, place the design change of the latter Bolognese card around 1600. Because the designs were extremely conservative, there must have been a reason for the change; it is difficult to determine what.)
I suspect the hand of the Church, which had a special attachment to the Devil; perhaps the BAR design looked too medieval--the later design corresponds better to the stereotypes of that period).
Again, I suspect the heavy hand of the Church, which I suspect continued to express itself in the introduction or promotion of Minchiate in the 1520s in Florence and elsewhere, which continued the suppression of the two objectionable cards by reducing them to one, called a "papa".
As late as 1725, the Papi were changed again, as eveyone knows, to the Moors, at the behest of the papal authority, after first burning a different deck, on a geographical theme, and briefly jailing its publishers, for declaring that Bologna had a "mixed" government (p. 232: I will include this passage as an appendix). Another example of the Church's hand is in what happened to the tarot in Ferrara after it came under direct Papal rule in the late 16th century: it rapidly went extinct (p. 216). My hypothesis is that the Papacy hadn't had enough power over the people to do the same in Bologna in the early part of the century, and then the people of Bologna hung on to what little they had, out of sheer pride in their erstwhile heritage. (By then the legend was that Bologna was the birthplace of the tarot, but that is a story for another post.)
It remains possible that the designs of the triumphs and their order other than the "papi" was introduced into Florence from Bologna, and in that sense the Florentine order is derivative from the Bolognese. I will put off that discussion until another post, when I discuss Dummett's chapter four, which deals with the invention of the tarot and its early transmission among regions.
Well, that was quite a bit on the "Charles VI." But it was important, because Dummett's arguments in later chapters affect very much what he is saying in this Chapter Three, as they may for Chapter Four, which is on the invention of the tarot. That is where lines of transmission among regions gets added to the mix, and other considerations having to do with temporal priority.
For now I will turn to Dummett's group 25 (p. 85). These are the "Rothschild" cards, or more specifically, what he calls the Rothschild-Bassano cards. He finds stylistic similarities with the "Charles VI": the same "incisiveness" and figures that leap out of their frames. I can't argue with that, although there are also differences, the Rothschild Emperor lacks the three-dimensionality of the Charles VI's, a characteristic that started being added to art in Florence with Massaccio in the late 1420s (see my post at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1005&hilit=Christi ... =10#p14991
). I would argue with the dating of "late 15th century"; but that is an area where art historians' expertise is crucial, and earlier datings weren't proposed until 1992 (Bellosi).
Another new point is the Florentine fleur-de-lys on the coin, therefore a Florentine florin, in the Rothschild Emperor's hands, as Ross pointed out at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=788&p=11585&hilit=Catania#p11585
(pointed out earlier by Christina Fiorini, 2005see my quotation at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1005#p14974
; Ross says in that thread that Thierry Depaulis also noted it around the same time).
So it appears that the Rothschild cards were made for someone in Florence. Detailed comparison of the cards with Florentine art suggests that in fact it probably was made in Florence, sometime from 1423 on. It may not be a tarot deck, as opposed to the game of Emperors, since the Emperor is the only triumph. If so, it is likely that all the cards in groups 23-25 are Florentine.
Added to that discovery, there are also Franco's more recent discoveries about Florence, notably of a purchase in 1453 of a tarot deck by a notary for his own use. The game had reached the middle class. And then there are exports to Rome in the 1460s. But many of the arguments in favor of Florence (and possibly, without the "papi", Bologna) are already in Dummett 1993, Chapters 9 and 10; he just doesn't let them introduce any uncertainties into the position he had articulated, on dubious grounds, in Chapter Three.
I hope the above has been helpful in explaining why the groups of hand-painted decks that Dummett in 1993 was called Ferrarese are now called Florentine, and how Dummett in the later chapters of his book anticipated much of the thinking behind that shift. Now I can summarise Dummett's final two groups of cards in Chapter Three.
Group 26 (p. 85ff) is a set of numeral cards in the Rothschild collection, plus 4 cards in the Museo Correr in Venice, which have the same dimensions and backs. Why should these be considered a tarot group?. He argues that if a group has only numeral cards, that means that someone sold the figures and kept the numerals. The probability of that happening by chance in a normal deck is 39,000 to 1, he says. For a tarot deck, the probability is slightly lower. Another question: why should these be assigned to Ferrara? He cites Algieri here, who notices a resemblance between the Correr Ace of Swords, which has a sword in a wreath piercing a bleeding heart, and the cards of the Catania group. That card would be worth seeing, since bleeding hearts are common in religious art in numerous places of Northern Italy at that time. There are also of course three such swords in the Sola-Busca 3 of Swords, a deck that he does not include among the "hand-painted decks of Ferrara", presumably because it was first engraved and then painted. The Rothschild cards, his group 23, also have that characteristic (first woodcut and then painted), but I cannot see that Dummett mentions that fact.
Group 27 (p. 89f) is a different looking set of numeral cards, owned by the same anonymous Milanese collector who owns the so-called "Bonomi" group of Milanese cards, But these apparently have similarities to group 25. This information comes to Dummett from a Mr. Giuliano Coppa.
Groups 26 and 27 are worth noting for possibly being detached from tarot decks. So far they don't match any decks, he says, in dimensions, borders, or backs.
Finally, he discusses the Issy Chariot card (http://www.rosscaldwell.com/images/visc ... hariot.jpg
). Dummet makes it part of the Warsaw cards, which he identified with Milan because of a Sforza heraldic on the Knight of Coins (p. 91):
12 Un bel trionfo dipinto a mano, il Carro, fu venduto all’asta il primo luglio 1991 a Parigi presso Guy Loudmer (catalogo dell’asta, p. 17). Due giovani montano i cavalli che tirano il carro; sul carro siede una dama che regge una spada nella mano sinistra e un disco nella destra; quattro fanciulle l’accompagnano. La nota nel catalogo assegna la carta a Ferrara per via dello stile artistico; quest’attribuzione è molto convincente. Inoltre, la nota l’identifica come proveniente dallo stesso mazzo del paio di carte del Museo di Varsavia ((10) del capitolo precedente, p. 62). Tuttavia, come ha osservato Ronald Decker, c’è un’impresa sforzesca sulla moneta del cavallo di Denari di Varsavia; si veda Janet Backhouse e altri, Renaissance Painting in Manuscripts, New York, 1983, p. 111, per un’illustrazione dell’impresa sul contratto di matrimonio di Ludovico Sforza. Quindi, se tutte e tre le carte provengono dallo stesso mazzo, il mazzo fu dipinto da un pittore ferrarese per la corte di Milano.
(12. A beautiful hand-painted triumph, the Chariot, was sold at auction on July first, 1991. in Paris by Guy Loudmer (auction catalog, p. 17). Two youths hold the horses that pull the chariot; on the chariot sits a lady holding a sword in her left hand and a disc in her right; four girls accompany her.The note in the catalog assigns the card to Ferrara by its artistic style; this attribution is very convincing. In addition, the note identifies it as coming from the same pack as the pair of Museum of Warsaw cards (10) of the previous chapter, p. 62). However, as Ronald Decker noted, there is a Sforza impresa on the coin of the Warsaw Knight of Coins; see Janet Backhouse and others, Renaissance Painting in Manuscripts, New York, 1983, p. Ill, for an illustration of the impresa on the marriage contract of Ludovico Sforza. So if all three cards come from the same pack, the pack was painted by a Ferrarese painter for the court of Milan.)
Or possibly a Sforza somewhere else? In that case his group 10 of the previous chapter should be in this chapter and attributed to Florence. If so, however, the artist included another Milanese characteristic; the female charioteer, which we see on the Cary-Yale and PMB. While the deck conforms to a Milanese standard, there is nothing to prevent its being made by a Florentine.
At the end of the chapter Dummett observes the striking differences in the way some subjects of the hand-painted cards of this chapter are portroyed compared with those of Milan in the previous chapter. In particular, he calls attention to the differences in Fortitude - the lady with the column here and often no lion, no columns in Milan but always a lion - and the celestials, i.e. Star, Moon, and Sun, which are "realistic" in this chapter, while in Milan there are figures reaching up to touch the Star and Moon and a child on a card reaching up to the Sun. I would add that there are differences in the Chariot and Hanged Man as well: a man in this chapter, a lady in the previous; money bags in this chapter, none in Milan. A few of these differences will continue even in 17th century France, e.g. Vieville vs. Noblet's "Tarot of Marseille" . But that is a subject for another chapter.
One thing is clear from this chapter: although there were or less "standard" tarot subjects (but with odd ones here and there), there never was a "standard" deck. view. As Dummett says in the very first sentences of Chapter One
Nelle note alla Terra desolata T. S. Eliot scrisse: «non conosco la costituzione esatta del mazzo dei tarocchi». Non esiste, in realtà, nulla del genere; esistono più forme distinte del mazzo dì tarocchi, ciascuna diversa dall’altra per composizione.
(In the notes to the Waste Land T. S. Eliot wrote: "I am not familiar with the exact constitution of the Tarot pack". There is, in fact, nothing of the kind; there exist several distinct forms of the tarot pack, each different in composition.
There are only different forms in different places, over various time-periods,some of which we know, others which we can infer with more or less definiteness. And others, it seems to me, of which we have only the vaguest notion.
APPENDIX: TWO LONG PASSAGES ON BOLOGNA OMITTED ABOVE BECAUSE THEY WERE EASY TO SUMMARIZE AND THE WORDING WAS NOT CRUCIAL TO THE ARGUMENT
FIRST, ON THE INTRODUCTION OF THE SHORT DECK IN THE 16TH CENTURY, P. 224:
Da Bologna non ci è pervenuto alcun mazzo di tarocchi completo, né alcuna descrizione del mazzo o del gioco anteriori al XVII secolo. A quell’epoca, il gioco era praticato con un mazzo ridotto di sessantadue carte, con reliminazione delle carte numerali dal 2 al 5 di ciascun seme; come abbiamo già osservato, il nome ‘Tarocchino’ veniva usato per indicare l’impiego dì questo mazzo ridotto. Questo nome fu in uso fino al XIX secolo, ma oggi non lo è più. A giudicare da casi simili in Sicilia e in Germania, è molto probabile che il nome fosse originariamente adottato per distinguere due forme diverse del gioco praticate alla stessa epoca, la forma nuova con il mazzo ridotto e la forma vecchia con il mazzo completo di settantotto carte; supporre che tutti i giocatori abbandonassero il mazzo completo subito dopo l’introduzione di giochi con il mazzo ridotto non è verosimile. Anche se ancora esistenti nel 1588, la vecchia forma e il mazzo completo erano stati completamente dimenticati alla metà del XVII secolo, benché persistesse il nome di ‘Tarocchino’. Sfortunatamente, non abbiamo indicazioni precise sul momento in cui il mazzo venne ridotto. La riduzione è sintomo della generale tendenza nei giochi di Tarocchi ad aumentare il rapporto fra trionfi e carte dei quattro semi. Deve aver avuto luogo durante il Cinquecento, forse nei primi anni del secolo, quando in Italia, Spagna e Francia si diffuse la voga di giochi con il mazzo normale ridotto in modi diversi; un esempio è il gioco veneziano della Trappolapola, giocato con trentasei carte, con l’omissione delle carte numerali dal 3 al 6 di ciascun seme. I giocatori bolognesi hanno continuato fino ad oggi ad osservare la regola che diversifica l’ordine delle carte numerali nelle due coppie di semi. A Spade e Bastoni, pertanto, le carte sono cosi ordinate:
Re (la più alta), Regina, Cavallo, Fante, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, Asso (la più bassa),
mentre a Coppe e Denari l’ordine è:
Re (la più alta), Regina, Cavallo, Fante, Asso, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 (la più bassa).
(From Bologna no complete tarot deck has come down, nor any description of the deck or the game prior to the seventeenth century. At that time, the game was played with a reduced deck of sixty cards, with the elimination of the 2-5 pip cards of each suit; as we have already noted, the name 'Tarocchino' was used to indicate the use of this short deck. This name was in use until the nineteenth century, but today it no longer is. Judging from similar cases in Sicily and Germany, it is very likely that the name was originally used to distinguish between two different forms of the game practiced at the same time, the new form with the short deck and the old form with the full deck of seventy-eight cards; the assumption that all the players would abandon the full deck immediately after the introduction of games with the short deck is not likely. Although still in existence in 1588, the old form and the full deck had been completely forgotten by the middle of the XVIIth century, although the name persisted in 'Tarocchino'. Unfortunately, we do not have precise information about when the pack was reduced. The reduction is a symptom of the general trend in games to enhance the relationship between Tarot trumps and the four suits of cards. It must have taken place during the sixteenth century, perhaps in the early years of the century, when in Italy, Spain and France the vogue of games with the normal deck reduced in different ways was widespread; an example is the Venetian game of the Trappola, played with thirty-six cards, with the omission of the numeral cards 3-6 of each suit. Bolognese players have continued to this day to observe the rule that diversifies the order of numeral cards in the two pairs of suits. In Swords and Batons, therefore, the cards are so ordered:
King (highest), Queen, Knight, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, Ace (lowest),
while in Cups and Coins the order is:
King (highest), Queen, Knight, Jack, Ace, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 (lowest).)
SECOND, ON THE CHANGE TO MOORS (p. 23-233)
Nel 1725 un assurdo contrattempo portò a un notevole [end of p. 231] cambiamento nei soggetti dei trionfi. Il canonico Luigi Montieri produsse un mazzo di Tarocchino geografico e araldico. Tali mazzi didattici godettero di un’enorme popolarità nei secoli XVII e XVIII. Potevano essere basati su qualsiasi tipo di mazzo — da tarocchi o normale, con semi francesi o italiani. Come altri dì questo tipo, la quasi totalità della superficie di ciascuna carta era dedicata a fornire informazioni geografiche e araldiche: solo un piccolo pannello nella parte più alta ne indicava la denominazione come in una carta da gioco. Bologna faceva da tempo parte dello Stato Pontificio, ma, in base a un accordo del 1447, godeva di notevole autonomia. Quando il mazzo fu sottoposto all’attenzione delle autorità papali, esse lessero con indignazione su una carta che Bologna aveva un governo misto. Fecero arrestare il canonico Montieri e tutti quelli che erano stati coinvolti nella pubblicazione del mazzo, che fu pubblicamente dato alle fiamme. Nella bolla del 12 dicembre 1725 il cardinale Tomaso Ruffo, il legato, condannava le carte dì Montieri per «mille irregolarità vane, ed improprie Idee, degne del più esemplare castigo, come altresì di darle alle fiamme, e di proibirne affatto l’uso, e il commercio con pubblico nostro Editto». Le autorità si resero conto ben presto, tuttavia, che procedere oltre avrebbe suscitato profondo risentimento in una città orgogliosa delle sue antiche libertà. Il caso venne quindi rapidamente lasciato cadere e Montieri e gli altri rilasciati dopo pochi giorni di prigione. Per salvare la faccia, tuttavia, il legato Pontificio finse dì essersi scandalizzato per un aspetto totalmente diverso del mazzo, che era comune a tutti i mazzi da tarocchini bolognesi e non specifico della versione geografica di Montieri. Egli ordinò «che nel Gioco dei Tarocchi fossero sostituiti ai 4 Papi 4 Mori, e all’Angelo una Dama». Interpretando correttamente che l’affronto alla dignità papale sarebbe stato più profondamente avvertito di quello alla dignità dell’Angelo del Giudizio Universale, Montieri si piegò alla prima richiesta ma non alla seconda, e il legato senti che l’onore era salvo. In tutte le copie superstiti del mazzo geografico compaiono Mori al posto dei Papi, ma il trionfo più alto è ancora l’Angelo anziché una Dama e si continua ad asserire che Bologna ha un governo misto. Nel suo libretto esplicativo della riedi-[end of p. 232]zione del mazzo, Montieri chiamava i quattro nuovi trionfi «Satrapi» (17)
Il mazzo Montieri ha le carte dall’Asso al 6 in ciascun seme e omette quelle dal 7 al 10, ma questa è solo una semplificazione che deve rendere più facile rappresentare le denominazioni delle carte numerali nei piccoli pannelli che servono a questo scopo. Nei trionfi, incluso il Matto, ciascun pannello racchiude anche una singola lettera maiuscola. Quando i trionfi sono disposti in ordine discendente, con il Matto in fondo, le lettere formano le parole: c luigi montieri inventor. Si tratta di una prova evidente del fatto che nel 1725, come nel 1668, l’ordine dei trionfi era quello suddetto.
Non solo il canonico Montieri, ma anche tutti i fabbricanti di carte di Bologna si adeguarono al decreto che imponeva la sostituzione di Mori al posto dei Papi, pur trascurando la parte relativa all’Angelo. Sylvia Mann ha osservato che il cambiamento fu in origine effettuato nel modo più economico: le vecchie matrici furono alterate in modo da rimuovere dalle figure dei Papi i tratti specificamente papali o imperiali e, nella colorazione delle carte, i volti furono scuriti in modo da produrre i ritratti di quattro re orientali — quattro satrapi. Le quattro carte non sarebbero potute diventare così simili l’una all’altra se non fosse già stata consuetudine trattare tutti e quattro i Papi come aventi lo stesso valore. Nel capitolo XVI vedremo come questa supposizione sia inaspettatamente confermata da una forma moderna, poco conosciuta, del gioco. Abbiamo così un mezzo molto efficace per stabilire se un [end of 233] mazzo di Tarocchino sia anteriore o posteriore al 1725: basta vedere se contiene Papi o Mori.
17. Un resoconto di questa storia grottesca si trova in Gian Battista Comelli, ‘Il «governo misto» in Bologna dal 1507 al 1797 e le carte da giuoco del Can. Montieri’, Atti e Memorie della Reale Deputazione di Storia Patria per la Romagna, ser. 3, Vol. XXVII, 1909. C’è anche un libretto informativo di Franco Presicci accluso alla riproduzione del mazzo Montieri pubblicata dalle Edizioni del Solleone di Lissone nel 1973. Le citazioni dalla bolla e dal decreto successivo sono tratte rispettivamente da un manoscritto inserito nella copia del libretto di Montieri della Biblioteca dell’Archiginnasio di Bologna, e dal documento del 1820, che riporta la storia dell’affare, citato in Playing cards... from the Collection of Lady Charlotte Schreiber, Voi. Ill, Londra, 1895, p. 14. II libretto di L. Montieri è intitolato L’Utile col Diletto ossia geografia intrecciata nel giuoco de Tarocchi con le insegne degl’Illustrissimi ed Eccelsi Signori Gonfalonieri ed Anziani di Bologna dal 1670 al 1725, e fu pubblicato a Bologna nello stesso anno 1725.
(In 1725, an absurd mishap led to a considerable [end of p. 231] changing of the subjects of the trumps. The Canon Luigi Montieri produced a deck of geographic and heraldic Tarocchino. These educational decks enjoyed enormous popularity in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They could be based on any kind of deck - tarot or normal, French or Italian suited. Like others of this type, almost all of the surface of each card was dedicated to providing geographic and heraldic information: only a small panel in the upper part indicated its name as a playing card. Bologna was long part of the Papal States, but, on the basis of an agreement in 1447, enjoyed considerable autonomy. When the deck was brought to the attention of the papal authorities, they read with indignation on a card that Bologna had a mixed government. They arrested Canon Montieri and all those who were involved in the publication of the deck, which was publicly burned. In the bull of December 12, 1725, the legate Cardinal Tomaso Ruffo condemned Montiere's cards for "a thousand vain irregularities and improper ideas, worthy of the most exemplary punishment, as also to give to the flames, and to prohibit all use, and trade by our public edict." The authorities soon realized, however, that to proceed further would have aroused deep resentment in a city proud of its ancient liberties. The case was then dropped quickly and Montieri and the others were released after a few days in jail. To save face, however, the Papal legate pretended to have been scandalized for a totally different aspect of the deck, which was common to all Bolognese Tarocchini decks and not specific to the geographical version of Montieri. He ordered "that the Game of Tarot was to replace the 4 Papi with 4 Moors, and the Angel by a Lady." Correctly interpreting that the affront to the dignity of the Pope would have been more deeply felt than the dignity of the Angel of the Last Judgement, Montieri bowed to the first request but not the second, and the legate felt his honor secure. In all surviving copies of the geographic deck the Moors appear in place of the Popes, but the highest triumph is still the angel instead of a lady, and it continues to assert that Bologna has a mixed government. In his explanatory booklet for the new edition of the deck, Montieri called the four new triumphs "The Satraps" (17).
The Montieri deck has the cards in each suit from Ace to 6 and omits those from 7-10, but this is just a simplification to make it easier to represent the names of the pip cards in the panels that serve this purpose. In the triumphs, including the Fool, each panel also contains a single uppercase letter. When the trumps are arranged in descending order, with the Fool at the bottom, the letters form the words: c luigi montieri inventor. This is a clear proof of the fact that in 1725, as in 1668, the order of the trumps was given.
Not only the Canon Montieri, but also all the card makers of Bologna conformed to the decree which required the placement of the Moors in place of the Popes, while neglecting the part relating to the Angel. Sylvia Mann noted that the change was originally made in the most economical way: the old dies were altered so as to remove from the figures of the Popes the specifically papal or imperial traits, and, in the coloring of the cards, the faces were darkened so as to produce the depictions of four eastern kings - four satraps. The four cards could not have become so similar to each other if it had not already been customary to treat all four Popes as having the same value. In the sixteenth chapter we will see how this assumption is confirmed by an unexpectedly modern form, little known in the game. So we have a very effective means to determine whether a deck of Tarocchino is before or after 1725: just see if it contains the Popes or the Moors.)
17. An account of this grotesque story is in Gian Battista Comelli, 'The "mixed government" in Bologna from 1507 to 1797 and the playing cards of Can. Montieri', Proceedings and Memoirs of the Royal Deputation of National History for Romagna, ser. 3, Vol XXVII, 1909. There is also an information booklet Franco Presicci attached to the reproduction of the the Montieri deck published by Editions Solleone of Lissone in 1973. Quotations from the bull and the subsequent decree are taken respectively from a manuscript inserted in the copy of Montieri's booklet in the Library of the Archiginnasio of Bologna, and from the document of 1820, which shows the history of the affair, quoted in Playing cards... from the Collection of Lady Charlotte Schreiber, Vol Ill, London, 1895 p. 14. The booklet by L. Montieri is titled Profit with Delight geography that is woven into the game Tarot with the insignia of the Most Illustrious Exalted and Gentlemen Gonfalonieri and Elders of Bologna from 1670 to 1725, and was published in Bologna in the same year 1725.
"Satrapi" of course rhymes with "papi". I question the extent to which Bologna "enjoyed considerable autonomy", except for the period before 1507. Playing card manufacturing, like all matters of the press, seems to have been under the direct authority of the Papacy, even if they did bow to popular pressure on one small point. I assume that a "mixed government" means one partly by representatives and partly not. Which part did the Cardinal object to as an unfair descripton of the government of Bologna? If it was the part about representatives, then of course there is no autonomy (was the agreement of 1447 still in force?). If the non-representative part, his own action refutes his objection and it is appropriately withdrawn. I notice that in the title of Dummett's reference has "mixed government" (in quotes) between 1507 and 1797 (Napoleon's invasion) only: so in that period, there is autonomy except when the papacy objects, which it may do in the most trivial matters, and In fact did so in the instance of the Moors, simply to allow the legate to save face. After an illustrious 15th century,. Bologna in fact languished in obscurity for 300 years, running a conservative university, cultivating its gardens, cooking exquisitely (or so I read), and playing cards.